Approximately 21 years ago, Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) traded for over $800. Today, RAD stock is down 59% year-to-date through August 29 and trading below $6.
In my most recent article about Rite Aid, Investors Shouldn’t Gamble on Rite Aid Stock, I suggested that “unless you were into owning ‘cheap trash’ stocks that have been mercilessly beaten down over the past few years, RAD stock is not a name I would buy at this point.”
At the time of the article in late July, the RAD stock price was around $6.56. Since then, it dropped all the way to $5.04 before rebounding slightly.
Yes, Rite Aid hired Heyward Donigan as their new CEO. She replaces the outgoing John Standley, who led the drug store chain for nine years. However, this executive shift does nothing to change my opinion of Rite Aid stock.
As Charlie Sheen’s character Bud Fox would say in Wall Street, “It’s a dog with fleas.”
However, when I noticed that my InvestorPlace colleague David Moadel recently went contrarian by suggesting Rite Aid stock, although risky, could pay off in the future, I just had to revisit this $300-million market capitalization investment.
Could RAD stock be the best security available under $6? Why don’t we have a look?
What Else Is There?
I did a quick screen of stocks trading on the New York Stock Exchange with market caps greater than $300 million and trading between $1 and $6. I came up with a list of 90. Rite Aid happened to be the second-smallest stock by market cap ahead of only Anworth Mortgage Asset (NYSE:ANH).
Who is the largest market cap trading between $1 and $6?
It is Canadian oil and gas producer Encana (NYSE:ECA) at $6.1 billion. Encana once traded above $34 as recently as 2011. However, the oil and gas business hasn’t been a peach these last few years.
As I write this, it is trading under $4.50, down 25% YTD.
However, it released its second quarter of 2019 results in July, and they were better than expected.
The company’s total revenues were $2.06 billion, well ahead of the $1.73 billion consensus estimate. It was also much improved from $983 million a year earlier. On the bottom line, it had adjusted earnings of $290 million, 46% higher than a year earlier.
Encana’s Q2 2019 production was 591,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/d) compared to 533,200 a year earlier. More importantly, Encana has transitioned to focusing on crude oil rather than natural gas. Oil now accounts for 55% of its production with natural gas accounting for the rest. A few years ago, natural gas was at 95% of its production.
The oil industry might be in a downer right now. But from where I sit, ECA shares have to be more attractive to investors than Rite Aid stock.
As I scroll through the rest of the list, I’ve come up with at least five other options that are good alternatives to Rite Aid: Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC), Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB), Hexo (NYSE:HEXO), Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) and BBX Capital (NYSE:BBX).
Unlike Encana, several of these stocks are losing money but provide greater potential upside than RAD stock, with the same amount of risk.
The Bottom Line on RAD Stock
David Moadel sees the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) deal to put package pickup locations in 1,500 Rite Aid stores by the end of 2019 as a real benefit to the company. Given early evidence suggests that Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) is benefiting from its relationship with Amazon, it’s possible that Rite Aid will experience the same goodwill.
However, when there are other potential investments under $6 to consider, why bother?
At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.